The 2018 International Symposium on Information Theory and Its Applications (ISITA2018)


Session Number:Mo-PM-1-4



On the Anonymization of Differentially Private Location Obfuscation

Yusuke Kawamoto,  Takao Murakami,  


Publication Date:2018/10/18

Online ISSN:2188-5079


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Obfuscation techniques in location-based services (LBSs) have been shown useful to hide the concrete locations of service users, whereas they do not necessarily provide the anonymity. We quantify the anonymity of the location data obfuscated by the planar Laplacian mechanism and that by the optimal geo-indistinguishable mechanism of Bordenabe et al. We empirically show that the latter provides stronger anonymity than the former in the sense that more users in the database satisfy k-anonymity. To formalize and analyze such approximate anonymity we introduce the notion of asymptotic anonymity. Then we show that the location data obfuscated by the optimal geo-indistinguishable mechanism can be anonymized by removing a smaller number of users from the database. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the optimal geo-indistinguishable mechanism has better utility both for users and for data analysts.